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obusek

English translation: truncheon

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00:08 May 28, 2003
Czech to English translations [Non-PRO]
Czech term or phrase: obusek
I'm looking for the etamology (origin) of the last name of Obusek. I'm curious if the name has any significant meanning.
Woodland
English translation:truncheon
Explanation:
... as in a police truncheon
could also mean a 'club' or 'cudgel'

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Note added at 2003-05-28 12:12:57 (GMT)
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... known on the street and in the police jargon as \'billy club\' or \'night stick\'

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Note added at 2003-06-03 12:39:58 (GMT)
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Mea culpa! Let it be known I stand corrected, Vera Richards, David Daduč, et al. Obviously, I just found out I don\'t know everething. Are you as surprised as I am? :-)

Etymologically speaking ... if the dictioanary says it is \'valaška\' or \'sekyrka\' or anything else besides truncheon, then be it.

Actually I find it fascinating. Does it mean that the truncheon was introduced from the outside, by the German or Austrian opressors perhaps, as a less lethal weapon to replace the native \'sekyrka\'? Wow! This opens a whole other world of possibilities ... So much for the Moravians, cousins to the Czechs self-described as having a dove-like disposition. :-)
Selected response from:

Zenny Sadlon
Local time: 15:52
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +2double-headed axe
Nicholas Miller
5 +2truncheon
Zenny Sadlon
4Sorry...
Elenacb
4--
David Daduč
5 -1hatchet
veraandbru


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
truncheon


Explanation:
... as in a police truncheon
could also mean a 'club' or 'cudgel'

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-05-28 12:12:57 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

... known on the street and in the police jargon as \'billy club\' or \'night stick\'

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-06-03 12:39:58 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Mea culpa! Let it be known I stand corrected, Vera Richards, David Daduč, et al. Obviously, I just found out I don\'t know everething. Are you as surprised as I am? :-)

Etymologically speaking ... if the dictioanary says it is \'valaška\' or \'sekyrka\' or anything else besides truncheon, then be it.

Actually I find it fascinating. Does it mean that the truncheon was introduced from the outside, by the German or Austrian opressors perhaps, as a less lethal weapon to replace the native \'sekyrka\'? Wow! This opens a whole other world of possibilities ... So much for the Moravians, cousins to the Czechs self-described as having a dove-like disposition. :-)

Zenny Sadlon
Local time: 15:52
Native speaker of: Native in CzechCzech
PRO pts in pair: 251
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Helena Grant
6 hrs

agree  Elenacb: Yes, a truncheon! I have translated a documentary where an American guy points to the Czech "obusek" and calls it a "truncheon". And it is indeed a British word! According to one of the Longman's dictionaries: "a short thick stick that police officers car
10 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): -1
hatchet


Explanation:
also known as "sekyrka" it is a slang word in Czech, mainly used in Moravia region, as a word for a small axe

veraandbru
Local time: 14:52
Native speaker of: Native in CzechCzech
PRO pts in pair: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Zenny Sadlon: certainly not an 'obušek'
7 hrs

neutral  David Daduč: I'm not sure what makes zenny certain but my dictionary (SSJC) says obusek ALSO means "valaska" (i.e. a type of hatchet) in a Moravian dialect
1 day12 hrs
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
--


Explanation:
The previous translations are fine but since you are interested in ethymology:

I believe the word is derived from "bouchat" (bang, beat, hit repeatedly) or the close "busit" (which means basicly the same).

In Czech, "ch" changes regularly into accented "s" and "ou" into "u" in some positions in words, so the stems -bus- (s with a hook over it) and -bouch- are really the same.

The prefix "o-" (-> verb "obouchat", not "obusit" though) means "about, around" (activity performed on the surface of something or on all sides of something), i.e. bang or beat about/around something.

Suprisingly, the suffix -ek in obusek is supposed to denote "name of a result of an activity"(*), so it seems that originally obusek was not necessarily a thing for beating something/somebody but a thing that was produced by beating (probably chiping pieces of material off a bigger piece).

(*) similar examples include vyrobek (product, i.e. st made by producing), posudek (assessment, i.e. st made by assessing), pridavek (addition, i.e. st made by adding), etc.

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Note added at 2003-05-28 08:06:24 (GMT)
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As Nick explained, the origin of the word is different.
Anyway, the false explanation (I made and Czech speakers must be tempted to make) definitely had an impact on the use of the word througout history. So there is indeed a long story to tell about the word...

David Daduč
Czech Republic
Local time: 22:52
Native speaker of: Native in CzechCzech
PRO pts in pair: 11
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
double-headed axe


Explanation:
David's more on the right track. Obusek ('s' hacek) is combined from the word 'dva' > 'two' and 'ucho' > 'ear' and means an 'axe with two heads' or 'double-headed axe'. Under the influence of 'bouchat' it means 'club' today. That's all thanks to a very good Holub & Lyer (1978) 'Strucny etymologicky slovnik' SPN.

As for the surname, whether the person is an 'axe-man' or 'smith' I don't really know. :-) I'm not sure if Czech or Slovak name's correspond to professions so much as English ones.

Nicholas Miller
Czech Republic
Local time: 22:52
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 35

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  David Daduč: Wow! I was miles away! :-)
6 mins
  -> Not really. Anyway it's thanks to a good dictionary.

agree  Pro Lingua
1 day3 hrs
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Sorry...


Explanation:
I have just realised what you're after.

As I said above (see the comment added to the first answer), I reckon "truncheon" is the correct translation.

However, as far as the etymology of the word is concerned, the first thing that springs up to my mind is the root of the word: "bus", morphological variant of "buch" - "to beat". Similarly "obouchat o hlavu" = "to beat against s.o.'s head", (also "reproach"). "Obouchat" is a verb, "obusek" is a noun.

I hope this helps.

Elenacb
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:52
Native speaker of: Native in SlovakSlovak
PRO pts in pair: 44
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